How to get from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon

Phoenix is a ponderosa pine–covered mountain town in the U.S. state of Arizona. It is famous for its sunny weather, desert landscape and sports teams, and for being a gateway to the Grand Canyon. It is located some 225 miles from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. There are a few ways to make the journey between the two places. How you get there depends on how you like to travel, what you’re interested in seeing along the way, and how much time you have.

Getting from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon


The easiest way to get from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon is by car. And for those who love road trips, this is a particularly epic one. There are plenty of places in Phoenix to hire a car in case you don’t have access to your own vehicle. Then, you can get your motor running on the scenic drive to the Grand Canyon. Without stopping, you’ll get there in around three and a half hours. But we’re almost certain you’re going to want to stop a lot along the way.

The quickest and most direct route is to take Interstate I-70 to Flagstaff and then across scenic Highway 180 to Highway 64.

Plane and Car

You can fly from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport to Flagstaff. Here you can hire a rental car and follow the directions above until you reach the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. The hour-long flight is beautifully scenic as you fly over the Mogollon Rim, the pine forests, and the red rocks of Sedona.

From Flagstaff, the drive is just one and a half hours to the Grand Canyon along Highway 180.


If you don’t have a car of your own or can’t drive, then a tour is a great option. Phoenix has plenty of tour operators who run sightseeing tours that pick you up and drop you off from your hotel. These tours often take in more places along the way to the Grand Canyon for instance the historic town of Williams. Check your itinerary to be sure, but most tours will take you along the South Rim, giving you time to stop and take in the wonderful sights including Mather Point, Bright Angel Trail, and the Yavapai Geology Museum, along with many others.


A shuttle bus runs from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport to the Grand Canyon. This is a great budget option. Groome Transportation runs the shuttle and the first one leaves the airport at 10:30 am and heads directly to Flagstaff, arriving at 1:50 pm at the Grand Canyon. Please note; that the national park admission is not included in the fare.

Greyhound Bus and Shuttle

If you are on a tight budget, you can take the Greyhound bus to the Grand Canyon. These buses depart from the suburb of Glendale at 11:40 am and arrive in Flagstaff two and a half hours later. From the bus station, you need to walk one mile to the Amtrak station where you catch the 3:45 pm Groome Transportation shuttle. You will arrive at the Grand Canyon two hours later at 5:45 pm.

This route is best for those who are planning on camping overnight or staying a few nights at the Grand Canyon due to the late arrival time.

North Rim Grand Canyon Cape Royal

Melanie May

Melanie is an intrepid solo traveller, endlessly curious about people, places and food. She is a fan of slow travel and loves exploring the world by mouth, discovering a culture through its food. Having backpacked her way around the world she turned her wanderlust into a career and is now a full-time travel writer.

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